It’s different from me to devote a column to one brand, but in this case I feel it’s in toto warranted

Sali Hughes
‘Overall, The Ordinary is a solid range.’
Photograph: Alex Lake for the Trustee

It’s unlike me to devote a column to one brand, but in this case I judge it’s entirely warranted. The Ordinary range of skincare seems, to me at young, to be based on the concept of generic pharma. This is an industry that, after a antidepressant company’s legal monopoly on its expensive medicine expires, produces generic doses using the original recipe, minus any marketing frills, and hawks it at a much lower price (hence paracetamol at 19p a pack), reserve consumers and the health service fortunes on what is essentially the anyhow product. What we have in The Ordinary is a cosmetic skincare house, namely Deciem, that follows similar principles by baring back unnecessary scent, packaging and fancy-sounding but unproven ingredients, off behind only the things that acutally work – energetic ingredients such as retinol (anti-wrinkle), vitamin C (brightening), hyaluronic acid (back, hydrating) and zinc (anti-inflammatory) – and flogging each offering for less than a tenner.

After three weeks of abhorring the products pretty diligently, it’s still too soon to review the efficacy of any of them, except perhaps the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum (£5.90), which functions instantaneously and well, but isn’t quite humectant enough for my taste. (If you’re a alcohol of Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal or Clarins HydraQuench, for example, you may realize this lacking in slip). But the level of actives is clinically well-constructed, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t work: vitamin C, for eg, is proven beneficial only in concentrations of 20% and above, a deed data ignored by many brands, which use its stingy inclusion as a merchandise point. In Vitamin C Suspension, it’s clearly labelled as 23% and rat oned for only £4.90.

I can also say, much to my surprise, that unlike with so much of Deciem’s result, I do like the textures. The gloopy, silicone-heavy consistency of many of the yields is mercifully dialled down in this range. Buffet Serum (£12.90, the assemblage’s highest price point) is a tad sticky (normal in a peptide serum), but well-upholsters, smooths and doesn’t interfere with makeup application. Complete, The Ordinary is a solid range, and I’m not surprised it’s causing such a stir in the pulchritude industry. What it perhaps lacks in luxury and elegance, it distributes in transparency, realism and affordability. I can’t help thinking this is how all fresh skincare should be sold.